Helmet Cameras: Personal Safety and the Law
News article published on: 11th May 2020
Helmet cameras have become one of the must-have items for cyclists, especially those commuting to and from work. They offer cyclists a way to capture their ride for both pleasure and protection. As a cyclist, it can be frustrating to be cut up by drivers and, when an accident is caused, in most cases it is their word against yours. In some cases they drive off and you are left injured with a damaged bike and no way to claim for the cost of repairs.
Insurers frequently deny liability from the offset whilst they wait for the police to finish their investigations. Liability can continue to be denied, and the insurer may start to raise questions about your cycling ability and how you could have contributed to the accident.
Before helmet cameras you would need to find witnesses who saw the accident and would be willing to provide a witness statement about the accident. Witnesses can be unreliable; they can be unwilling to get involved, change their story, or fail to turn up at trial. With a helmet camera there is little need for witnesses.
In many cases helmet camera footage can help prove how the accident happened and it can be the difference between winning your case, and losing it. Recording footage in public places is legal so do not be worried about using your helmet camera on a daily basis.
To be able to use helmet camera footage as evidence it has to be downloaded onto a CD and must be accompanied by certificate stating that the footage has not be altered. This must be countersigned by a solicitor.
As a firm there are multiple cases where helmet footage has been really helpful. Here are a few case examples of where helmet footage has helped win a case.
Client on a bicycle was proceeding through a two lane junction when a Defendant turned across him to join the lane the Claimant was in. The Defendant’s argument was that the Claimant was far behind him when he pulled into the lane and that the Claimant cycled into the back of the car. The helmet camera footage showed clearly that the Claimant was alongside the Defendant’s car and visible before the Defendant pulled into the Claimant’s lane.
The Defendant has a helmet camera on his motorbike. After starting off from the traffic lights at speed it was clear from the helmet footage that the Claimant was visible in time for him to stop.
Defendant denied liability. He states a lorry crashed into the rear of him and this caused the collision with the Claimant.
Blog post written by Laura Swaine, solicitor in the Personal Injury team.